Managing Your Cats Medical Challenges
How To Support A Friend Whose Cat Is Dying
There isn’t a huge amount of difference from comforting a friend over the loss of a cat than for the loss of a human family member. As you are likely aware, most of us consider our cats as family members.
When a human is terminally ill;or has died, people often make the mistake of saying, “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.” While that may offer some small degree of comfort, it is rarely acted on by the recipient;who may be hesitant to come out and ask for specific ways of helping.
In the case of a pet that is dying, you could couch your offers specifically to meet your friend’s needs:
Recent Medication Or Vaccination
If your feline has recently received a vaccination or is on some medication, it may experience a lack of appetite as a side effect. In the case of vaccinations, your pet will likely go back to its old eating habits in a day or two as the effects wear off.;
However, if the medication needs to be taken over a long period, you may want to discuss your cats inappetence with the vet to see if theres a better alternative.
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Changes In Eating Habits
Difficulty in eating or drinking is an almost sure sign that your cat is suffering from a physical condition.
Cats are opportunistic feeders, so its in their nature to eator at the very least, show interestwhenever a meal is available to them. If their enthusiasm for nourishment starts dwindling, its an almost sure sign that theres something wrong with your pet. And not eating or drinking at all, even if you give your cat its favorite meals, is a sign of grave danger.
Is It Humane To Let A Cat Die Naturally
If your cat is not in pain, then yes, it is humane to let your cat die naturally.
Many cats die at home with their owners. Even more, they pass away in their sleep during their last days. You should not feel guilty if you want your elderly cat to die naturally.
There is an option to euthanize your cat, which makes sense in certain situations. Euthanizing is often scary and confusing for your cat, but for a cat in pain, it could be the best way to let your cat pass.
Some people are against euthanizing their cat, and if you are one of those people, then a natural death is a perfectly acceptable option for your cat.
Usually, your cats state will dictate the best way to allow your cat to pass.
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Adjust Your Cats Immediate Environment
As your cats health declines, its going to want to stay as comfortable as possible. Sadly, it will inevitably get to a point where it becomes too weak to assert itself. At this point, it will no longer have the ability to seek the comfiest hiding places or rest in the warmest lairs. In fact, it may not even be able to move around much at all.
You can counter this by placing their favorite toys near them to make them feel more at ease. You can even get them new ones that they can enjoy without having to move around a lot, like this imitation aquarium, which your cat can spend hours looking at. Some soft relaxing, nature sounds from time to time can also help settle your cat.
Relocate their resting place to a peaceful part of the house to shield them from the hustle and bustle of daily activities and allow them to rest as much as possible. Try not to let other people, especially younger children, break their peace and quiet.
Ideally, your cats zone should be something that isnt too bright during the day, and too dark during the night. This is because their vision could be failing and too much or too little stimulation can easily overwhelm or confuse them.
Subcutaneous Fluids And Hydration
Another way to get your cat extra moisture is by giving it fluids at home. While the process may seem intimidating, it is relatively simple, especially if you have two people. Your vet will demonstrate how to give the cat fluids and decide the frequency and amount needed.
For our cat, fluids every other day was the prescribed course. We would put the cat on the counter on a towel and hang the fluid bag via a coat hanger from the top of the cabinets.
After putting in a fresh needle, we would pinch up a bit of skin on the back near the base of the neck and insert the needle. Sometimes the cat may be jumpier and you may need to gently hold it by the loose skin near its neck or use another recommended form of fear-free restraint. I usually have the person help me when I insert the needle subcutaneously . We talk soothingly to him.
The SQ fluids usually take just a few minutes. This process may leave a pocket under the skin, but the body will absorb and use the fluids, usually within a few minutes to a few hours.
If you are looking for ways to help your cat but are nervous about giving the fluids, I encourage you to try it with the instruction of your veterinarian. It looks more intimidating than it actually is and your cat will often perk up and begin to feel better.
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Signs That Your Cat Is Sick
Jenna Stregowski, RVT has worked in veterinary medicine for more than two decades. Her veterinary experience ranges from routine wellness care and preventive medicine to emergency and specialty care, where she has performed duties ranging from specialized nursing to clinical administration. Jenna has been writing about pet care for over 10 years, including for publications like DVM 360 and DogTime.
Illustration: The Spruce / Ellen Lindner
Could your cat be sick? It may be difficult to know if subtle changes in your cat indicate a health problem. Cats are experts at hiding illness. In the wild, this instinct can protect them from predators or other cats that might be a threat. Today’s house cat has the same tendency to avoid vulnerability, even if the only potential threat is a housemate. Even cats in single-pet homes tend to have the;instinct to self-protect.
There is another reason why cats and many other animals are less likely to show pain or illness: they simply;do not have an emotional relationship with their discomfort. Animals tend to accept the pain or illness as the new normal and move on. It may not be;until they are extremely ill that their sickness becomes obvious to humans.
Make Them Feel Comfortable When You See The Signs Your Cat Is Dying
Its tough as a cat parent to watch them as they near the end of their life. Saying goodbye to your pet cat is a sad reality. Help them feel as comfortable as possible during this period by:
- Providing them with a soft, warm, cozy bed.
- Keeping their bedding clean, especially since they experience incontinence.
- Carrying them to the litter box if they are too weak to get up.
- Consulting your vet for proper end-of-life care.
Towards the end of their life, give them more understanding and provide them with love and affection to show that you are with them until you finally say goodbye.
Give them a beautiful send-off that they truly deserve.Contact us to find out more about our services.
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Bad Cattitude And Lethargy
If your cat is normally a sweetheart and has suddenly become mean, antisocial and is behaving oddly, your cat may be ill. Irritability and crankiness can be signs of pain and senility in an older cat. Cats with joint or back pain will react with aggression if touched in an area of pain. If your cat suddenly has a personality change and seems unusually irritable, it could be a sign your cat is sick.Another thing to look for is a normally affectionate or playful cat just wanting to lie around and be alone. If there have been no changes in the home and your cat is listless, lethargic and disinterested in being active or playing with even favorite toys, they may not be feeling well. A cat may also not be interested in playing if their mental health is not well. A new baby in the house, moving, or strangers coming over can also stress a cat out and make them not want to play with their favorite catnip-stuffed mice. If the stress does not resolve in a week or two, a vet visit for mental health can help your cat get treatment and be their playful, happy selves again.
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Environmental Enrichment And Happiness
Any attempts to help improve the emotional well-being of your cat are best guided by you, the pet owner. You know your cat better than anyone else, so you’re the best judge of whether your cat prefers attention or would rather be left in a quiet place. Keep the following tips in mind when considering how to provide the best care for your cat’s last days:
- If your cat shows interest in his regular activities, then this behavior should be encouraged.
- Any activities at home that may be stressful to your cat should be avoided when possible. These can include adding a new pet to the household, or changes such as new construction projects or even a move.
- In a multi-cat household, it may be necessary to place additional water and food bowls, litter boxes, cat beds or scratching posts to reduce confrontations over these resources.
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Medicating Your Sick Cat
So very important. And sometimes it can be really hard to do. But there are ways and times that you should try. The vet has given you instructions and meds, so adhere to what the vet says unless you can get a second opinion that tells you differently. Now, that does not mean your friend down the street who has a cat. That means a vet.
Prayer For Healing A Sick Pet
Help them Lord; deliver _________ from any pain and suffering, but her sweet memories will keep you warm from now on, For people, I pray your grieving and reflection eventually bring you solace and fond memories of your beloved cat, and some of our grieving may be done well in advance of the pets actual death, the cat had gotten sick and threw up, IGet Well Wishes and Words of EncouragementMy cousins cat just died after a long illness, this can be a time of preparation, Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories.Little Girl Speaks Words of Comfort to Her Sick CatClick to view0:38Little Girl Speaks Words of Comfort to Her Sick Cat, This little girl and her cat are obviously inseparable friends, Amen.After the passing of your kitty, floppy ears, What wonderful parenting and such an adorable kid, And enjoy food
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When Cleaning The Ears Or Applying Medication:
- hold the earflap with your left hand if you are right-handed and look for the ear opening
- hold the bottle in your right hand and squeeze in the correct number of drops
- keep hold of the earflap, feel for the tube running down the side of the head and use the finger and thumb of your right hand to gently massage the medication down the tube. Wipe away any excess but do not use cotton buds inside the ear.
- release the earflap your pet will shake their head!
- give a reward
My Cat Keeps Throwing Up Are Fur Balls To Blame
Cats often vomit up hairballs.;;They;develop these in their stomach through;fastidious grooming. The;fur they swallow;cant be digested and often ends up forming into a congealed lump. These lumps of hair can be dangerous as they can lead to blockages and irritations. Owners can do their bit to prevent hairballs both being thrown up and being stuck in the digestive tract by introducing a strict brushing regime to remove loose fur.
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Medicate With Vet Supervision
It has been well-established cats have a unique metabolism for numerous medications. For this reason, it is important to only give prescription or over-the-counter medications to your cat under the guidance of your veterinarian. The feline liver is unable to process medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Just a single dose of acetaminophen can be fatal to your cat.
Have A Sick Cat 9 Ways To Tell If Your Cat Is In Pain
Some of the most profoundly heartbreaking moments of my cat-caretaking life revolve around being unable to tell how much pain my beloved friends were suffering. Even though I know cats are very good at disguising their pain, I cant help but guilt-trip myself sometimes over this health issue, because as a person whos lived with cats almost all my life, I should be able to notice when somethings out of whack. A sick cat will show symptoms, although often theyre quite subtle. In hopes of helping you recognize signs of pain that eluded me, here are some tips that could signal a sick cat or a cat in pain.
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/ Administer Pain Medication
Cats that are old and dying are unlikely to need medication. However, cats with a painful or uncomfortable health condition may need medication to help them feel more at ease and reduce their suffering. Signs of pain include:
- Loss of appetite
That being said, never self-prescribe your cats medication. Doing so can make your cats health condition worse. Depending on what your cats suffering with, you can make the problem worse.
Understanding Your Cats Behavior
You probably already know that your cat is most comfortable with the familiar, and needs time to adjust to things, people, or places that are unfamiliar. When you bring your cat to visit the veterinarian, it is often difficult for her;because the carrier, car, and the veterinary hospital are usually unfamiliar places and experiences.
Here are a few tips from our feline veterinarians:
Respect your cats need for time to become familiar with new situations, people, and places. Leave the cat carrier out and open in your home so your cat can become familiar with it. Consider taking your cat on short trips in the car so she can become familiar with it and hopefully learn that a car visit does not mean you are taking her to the veterinarians office. Give your cat rewards to encourage positive behavior. For example, if your cat is sitting calmly in or near a carrier, give her a treat.
Your cat perceives the world through her senses. Weve broken down ways to help keep your cat calm corresponding to the way your cat experiences her environment.
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Talk To Your Friend About Her Cat
Most important of all, talk to your friend. Many times, people are holding in all sorts of fears, anger, and guilt that maybe they aren’t doing enough for their pet. Or if the pet has recently died, that they didn’t do enough. Sometimes, all you need to do is listen, and nod; give assurances that he/she was a good pet parent, and did everything possible that could be done. If she had to make the decision to euthanize, there will undoubtedly be guilt feelings over that. That decision is the kindest, most loving and selfless decision any of us will have to make for a loved pet, because we’re doing it for the pet, not for ourselves. You can use those exact words if you like. Also, tell your friend that it’s okay to cry, then do what comes naturally, if the tears start to flow. Under either circumstance, do what you can to focus a conversation on all the good memories around that pet.
Finally, after the cat has passed away, you may want to honor its memory with a memorial gift. Your friend may appreciate “donations in memory” to my favorite cat charity, which I received after the loss of my cats. If you have talents in the arts, a loving memorial would be a special poem, a painting, drawing, or framed photograph would be a thoughtful gift. A friend of mine composed a memorial song dedicated to my Shannon when he passed away, and it brought both smiles, tears, and happy memories.